CareAbout helps preserve independence in aged care or at home with your pet

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In-home aged care providers play a crucial role in supporting older people with pets to remain living independently in their own home.

Photo Credit: iStock

Pets often serve as beloved companions for older adults, particularly those living alone or experiencing social isolation, and caring for a pet gives them purpose and responsibility.

“By assisting with pet care, in-home aged care providers ensure that older people maintain this vital source of companionship, which can positively impact their mental and emotional well-being, and enhance their clients' quality of life in meaningful ways,” said Kyra Bae Snell, co-founder of CareAbout, Australia’s leading home care placement service.

In operation since 2016, CareAbout has helped to support more than 100,000 families across all states in their search for a quality home care provider or aged care provider. The service is free to people looking for providers.

“The inspiration behind CareAbout came from my personal experience in navigating the aged care system and finding it overwhelming, confusing and frustrating when I was looking for clear information on the best supports for her loved one,” she said.

“It was heart-breaking and the more I talked to others, the more I realised how common my experience was and I wanted to change it for the better for when other families were inevitably faced with the realities of getting older.”

Especially since the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Snell has witnessed many positive changes aimed at improving the aged care system, such as increased funding, person-centered care and support for in-home care.

“Wellbeing and quality of life doesn’t come down to just quality of care. There are other things that can contribute to a joyous life, such as pets,” she said. “We hear so many stories about the importance of pets in people’s lives and how their pets bring them joy!”

For CareAbout, it’s important to support older pet owners in their homes the way they want to live, and ensure the home is safe for in-home care providers to support the client. Home Care providers offer a variety of care services within the home, so people don’t have to travel anywhere or even get dressed to leave the house!

“Home care is about the whole individual and understanding their needs and preferences, and part of that is to understand their need for a pet,” said Snell.

“With more awareness about the benefits of pets for older people, including the great work Companion Animal Network Australia is doing to support pets in aged care, it’s becoming increasingly common for older people to ask about in-home care providers that cater to their pets.”

CareAbout also helps people find nursing homes that allow live-in pets, with recommendations based on people’s needs and preferences.

“If we can’t recommend a quality aged care facility from our handpicked panel, we won’t make one. But if there are other homes better suited for them that we don’t work with, we suggest they contact, for instance in regional areas,” said Snell.

For more information about CareAbout finding a nursing home that will accept your live-in pet, visit here.

Most older people want to age at home with their pets

Due to increasing demand from older people who wish to age at home with their pets, CareAbout focuses more on searching for in-home care providers people can trust.

In fact, a survey conducted by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety of more than 10,000 Australians reveals that 80% of older people want to remain in their current home and 62% want to receive care services in their own home.

“One of the big reasons to remain living at home is their pets! You can keep your dogs, cats, birds and pet lizards surrounded by your books, photos and all your comforts!” said Snell.

“We work with providers across Australia and overwhelmingly the providers have the needs and heart of the customer in everything they do. They are required to create personalised care plans that recognise their unique preferences and goals and how people live with their pets.”

To learn how CareAbout can help you with your in-home care, visit www.careabout.com.au/home-care

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